Photo by Danny Croucher, 2011
Fré Ilgen (1956, the Netherlands), based in Berlin, is not only a sculptor and a painter, but also a theorist and curator. His work is exhibited and owned widely in the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia. Works vary in size from small up to monumental size. His largest work is H5 x W7 x 40 meters, in the main lobby of Heungkuk Life Insurance Building, a prominent office building, downtown Seoul.
Ilgen’s paintings, sculptures and mobiles depict a reality that is not a solid mass but a swirling movement of shifting relationships, using abstract as well as figurative forms. Ilgen combines features from Western and Eastern cultures and philosophies, like from the Baroque and Indian sunyata. His extensive interest in visual perception and his interest in neuroscience motivate him exploring artworks that are visually powerful, appealing in dynamic compositions, defying gravity and simulating continuous change. These purposely cause a pleasant bewilderment in the viewer, because his works do not offer any singular narrative besides a fusion of the positive and negative in life.
Exhibitions include galleries, museums, corporations, foundations and art fairs around the world, and various biennials, including exhibition “Frontiers Reimagined” (Tagore Foundation), part of the official Collaterale Program of the 56th Venice Biennial. He moderates the award winning “Checkpoint Ilgen”- series, the idealistic art salon, which he and his wife Jacqueline host at their private apartment in Berlin. In 2011 Ilgen curated Mirrors of Continuous Change, a large exhibition of global art, for the Ilju and Seonhwa Foundations in Seoul.
Monographies, published in Europe, USA and Asia, cover his creative output, including “Fré Ilgen: The Search”, a retrospective book, 2001, and “To Be Free”, 2012. His works and activities have been covered by many art magazines, newspapers, blogs and TV programs in various parts of the world.
He also published the widely acknowledged major books “Art? No Thing! Analogies between Art, Science and Philosophy”, 2004, and “ARTIST? The Hypothesis of Bodiness”, Wasmuth Verlag, 2014 – available at Amazon.com